Home /
Search 🔍
the Site

Chime right in! (no registration req'd)


Cleaning the interior of an air compressor tank

October 10, 2021

Q. I have an 80 gal air compressor tank I would like to clean the interior of. To the best of my knowledge it doesn't have any pin-holes in it. It does have scale in it. I was thinking of using muriatic acid 1:1 inside, put the bungs in and roll it around then let it sit upright to dissolve the scale in the bottom. My greatest concern aside from the fumes is coating the bare metal inside after I rinse it out.
Do I need to neutralize with baking soda?
Can I dump in some Rustoleum primer to coat the inside?
Will primer be enough to resist future surface rust?
Any comments on what I haven't thought of?

Thank you,

Alaric VomStein
- Chaseburg, Wisconsin

October 2021

A. Hi. Using muriatic acid inside a pressurized air tank is a no-go due to safety issues. Although I am no expert on that subject, apparently explosions of air compressor tanks are so dangerous that they are never even tested with air, only water. Gravel, marble chips, or other appropriate abrasive, not acid, are the way scale is removed.

You & I and the readers are very fortunate that there is a fabulous youtube video on the whole subject at
Good luck!


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

finishing.com is made possible by ...
this text gets replaced with bannerText
spacer gets replaced with bannerImages

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread SEARCH for Threads about ... My Topic Not Found: Start NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software

About/Contact    -    Privacy Policy    -    ©1995-2021 finishing.com, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA